Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Have You Read the Constitution Today?

If you haven't, you can get your chance on September 18 when Let Freedom Ring holds a series of nationwide readings called "We Read the Constitution."

Leader Colin Hanna told TPMDC that lots of people "who revere the Constitution aren't themselves intimately familiar with its details." Judging by the uninformed interpretations of people like Beck & Co., I'd say that's a safe bet. In fact, I'd be willing to wager that most of these right-wing extremists haven't read it since sixth grade, but to be fair, I doubt if most people have.

Given the fact that anyone with the inclination and a half grain of intelligence can read it online, I doubt that this series of events attract the one thousand parties that Hanna hopes for. I also doubt that they are really interested in its content; its so much easier to rant and misinterpret. So far only 50 party organizers have sent in RSVPs.

I don't think we can expect the enlightenment that we might hope for. Hanna says the readings will "include sections that have been canceled out by subsequent amendments."

Apparently this constitutional scholar doesn't realize that this document has been around for 250 years, that it is considered the finest foundation of any government in the world and that measures are provided for changing the amendments.

In other words, these people also need to have readings about the history of our country and not the kind that are going to be in the new Texas text books.
Currently, the only party listing in New York City (home of TPMHQ) is at a bar (Social in Hell's Kitchen), but Hanna laughed off questions about rowdy attendees. He said he hadn't known about the bar, but "that's fine with me!" The goal is for the parties to be "pretty loose and pretty open," he said, though he added he hopes there will also be readings at barbecues, health food stores, and city parks.


  1. A bit off thread, but it is amazing to me that the same fools who hold our founding fathers in such high regard, are making noise about the unconstitutionally of parts of the constitution. How does that that not a contradiction?

    Unfortunately, simply reading it does not mean one is going to understand it, or that one is not going to interpret it to one's own purposes.

  2. J: I totally agree with you on both counts. I'm sure they'll have the Good Book somewhere in there.

  3. "Section 8 - Powers of Congress"

    "To borrow money on the credit of the United States"

    I think every politician from the mid-20th century to today must've cut all but this portion out of the Constitution and declared this to be their "Good Book" :-)

  4. Good Evening Leslie: I am not in the best mood however, after watching the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay beat the Hell out of the Indianapolis Colts, and my main man Peyton Manning, in tonight's exhibition NFL game.

    But on this posting, which was interesting, because for a couple year's I been hearing more of these folk's starting to try to explain what so and so meant, etc, when the Constitution was put together... and sadly we dont have them folk's around anymore to defend themselves and what they meant and wrote. I couldnt even remember the last time I read the Constitution or even remember how many "yea's" it take's to amend or even how many year's it took to act on this, consider it, etc. But the reason it caught my atencion, is because it seem's more folk's are attempting to define it in their view (special interest's alway's). And it seem's like the Texas School Book case indeed too, like that slippery slope back door shenanigan's. For me ... the bottom line ... is it say's what it say's ... we have a lousy habit of taking writing, doctrine's of past and trying to pick them apart and those in some power redefining what they mean ... the biggest prank was pulled on the Holy Bible for instance as I posted in past comment's, and what that became after alteration's and 55 version's, even exclusion's of gospel's! I dont believe/ support in doing these thing's ... just simply making law's or whatever to update societies time's and code's, but never seen any reason to touch or change what has been in writing, or trying to twist it to drive society in some direction those want. No ... I dont like any of it ... period ... and this is all clear as to motive.

  5. People should be reminded that the Constitution has changed since it was first written. It would be best to read it and print it the way it stands in 2010.
    Some seem confused by reading the original document, which is truly different than todays document with its added protections.
    I know the right would rather have the document of 1789, but that's their delusion.
    I have called them anti-American for not following and protecting the document as it is today. They deserve that description.

  6. Thank You for your insight on this here Tom, odd .. but ... I am not so familiar with alot of this.

  7. The right detests the Constitution: They constantly want to amend it. Believe it or not, before the Terminator went off the reservation, they wanted to allow non-native born citizens to president. In truth, they think that the whole document comes down to the 2nd and 10th Amendments.

  8. What we are seeing from the teaparty et. al. is the same thing we see in various religious denominations. The founders wrote the constitution with the obvious intent that it grow with the country it formed...and unfortunately that leads to interpretations that may or may not be right, as opposed to wrong. The protestant bible is vague enough in nearly all of it's precepts that it is open to wildly divergent opinions. The Constitution not to much so, but still similar in some small degree. Another problem is when those who haven't read it, haven't studied the case law surrounding it (because the constitution has been driven as much by case law over the last 250 years as it has by the actual document itself) start to base interpretations upon what they think the founders had in mind, or, as we see also in biblical interpretation throughout the various protestant denominations, for example, they interpret based on what they want it to say, rather than what it actually does say. This can happen on both sides of the aisle, but more so from the less educated and therefore more prone to flim-flam sector, and that sector in this time in the country's path is that which votes overwhelmingly republican.

    I don't see anyone busting down the doors of Barnes and Noble to pick up the last in-stock copy of the bargain book edition of the US Constitution anytime soon.

  9. tnlib, your post and jadedj's comment state the problem well. It's not simply what's written in the Constitution, but what a reader of the Constitution brings to the experience.

    One problem the ignorant and poorly educated have in any such undertaking is that so many of them have no appreciation of the difference between the subjective and objective. Afflicted that way, it's easy to interpret the Constitution as saying what you want it to say.

    You may recall the exercises in recent decades when a reporter approached people on the street, read them, say, the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech and asked if that should be the law of the land – with an amazing number of citizens saying no.

    When I see people wanting to read the Constitution but skip the amendments, I always wonder if they long for the days when slavery was legal and accommodated, and women were unable to vote.

    How dare devious liberals subvert the founders' infinite and timeless wisdom by changing such things? The nerve of some people.


  10. I'm not ignoring your insightful comments. I've wrenched my back and life isn't too comfy at the moment, so please forgive me for this "group response." I always seem to learn something new from my visitors, so know that I enjoy your words of wisdom.

    Obviously, these people really are uneducated - for a myriad of reasons. Parents uneducated, teachers not too well educated themselves, school systems that want to ignore history by rewriting it, and nobody knows enough to give a hoot. Ignorance breeds ignorance and now I'm afraid we're seeing what might become the final meltdown. I hope I'm wrong but for the first time since all this crap started two years ago, I'm getting pretty depressed, if not scared.

    While I think this event will probably be a bust, Beck's dog and pony show yesterday - which attracted thousands - can't be ignored.

  11. I think I can demonstrate with certainty that I have read the Constitution lately. Nothing in the actual text of the Constitution has changed from the way it was originally ratified. However, some of the provisions are no longer valid, because amendments have superceded them. Therefore, any read of the Constitution must include the amendments as well.

    I will make it a point to have my Constitution and Amemdments Series available for download (PDF) before then.

  12. It has been my observation that The Constitution is in reality a meaningless dicument to the Becks and right wingers. When wording suits them they love it. When it doesn't they bring up "intent of the Founding Fathers" nonsense.

    Their search for justification for tax cuts for the rich and preemptive wars has no boundaries. Either intellectual or integrity wise.

  13. See any similarities between their beliefs in and their views of the Bible?